Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi. That's the war cry from the Republicans. It's the tragedy that became a scandal that became a fund raising cause célèbre. Now that the ringleader has been caught, the Republicans don't know what to do. They'd already held seven hearing trying to place the blame on Obama. All seven failed. Then recently, to huge fanfare, Speaker John Boehner named a special House select committee to try to pin blame on the president. Then the inevitable happened. Obama rained on their parade. He authorized the capture of Benghazi mastermind, Ahmed abu Khatallah.
So first the Republican alarmist tried to diffuse and obfuscate the capture by questioning the timing. It had to do with Hillary Clinton's going on CNN and Fox News to talk about her book sales. Really? Like Obama would really time the capture to coincide with a book signing tour for Hillary Clinton? C'mon Republicans, you can do better than that.
And they tried. They then claimed that Al Qaeda ringleader Ahmed abu Khatallah wasn't really hiding. He could have been captured earlier. This guy was so visible he was even giving interviews to news journalist over the past two years. The administration was dragging its feet because they knew he'd blow the lid on how Al Qaeda was planning the Benghazi attack for weeks and it had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim video as the US had initially claimed immediately after the attack.
So why hadn't the administration captured or killed abu Khatallah? What were they waiting for? Were they afraid he would prove Obama lied and was involved in a cover-up?
According to The Daily Beast:
Unlike the October 5, 2013 capture Abu Anas al-Libi, an accused planner of the 1998 al Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the authority to capture abu Khatallah did not derive from the congressional authorization to go to war against al Qaeda.
While House and Senate investigators have said their probes have turned up evidence that the Benghazi attacks were coordinated and planned by people working with al Qaeda affiliates, the U.S. intelligence community has not determined that abu Khatallah was himself connected to al Qaeda. Without such a connection, the U.S. president was not authorized to kill or capture him under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force against al Qaeda.
So, we followed the law. And while we were gathering information, collecting evidence against the Benghazi ringleader, we had him on our radar and were shadowing him, getting Intel on him and his cohorts. Evidence that would be crucial during the trial and also lead to other arrests/captures as Obama promised the night of the attacks.
As for the reason abu Khatallah has given for the Benghazi attack he's accused of masterminding that killed the four Americans? According to the New York Times:
But Mr. Abu Khattala told other Libyans in private conversations during the night of the attack that he was moved to attack the diplomatic mission to take revenge for an insult to Islam in an American-made online video.
This all leads back to square one. Obama told the truth as he knew it. Hillary Clinton told the truth as she knew it. And Susan Rice delivered the truth as it was known at the time on the Sunday Talkers.
Where's all this leave the House special committee? In the toilet, where they belonged in the first place.